MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — It's official: Corey Ketterman is the "Cutest Vegetarian Alive."
The 15-year-old Martinsburg, W.Va., resident won this year's Cutest Vegetarian Alive contest, which is sponsored by peta2, the youth division of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The Cutest Vegetarian Alive contest is a spin-off of PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian Alive Contest.
"Mom saw it first, and she screamed loudly and told me," Corey said, "I was happy about it. I'm pretty excited."
Corey said when he initially entered he didn't anticipate winning. "I wasn't completely sure if I had a chance, because there were so many (entries)," he said, "I guess I figured I had as good a chance as anybody."
"I was kind of surprised because I couldn't see how many votes I had, so I didn't know who was in the lead," Corey said.
The home-schooled junior was one of 120 male contestants, and the 205 votes he received in the first round made him one of 10 finalists, said Rachel Owen, PETA's assistant manager of Youth Campaigns.
PETA declined to release the official vote counts for the final round.
"Votes are an important factor, but we looked at other factors as well," Owen said.
Owen said everyone who entered answered a series of questions. She explained that a panel of judges used the contestants' answers to judge their history of animal-rights activism and the animal-friendly aspects of their lifestyle.
Owen emphasized Corey's veganism, which she said was an important part of the contest, and also the fact that two of his family members are now vegan.
"We wanted to honor him for that," she said.
Corey and the female winner, Madeline Smith of St. Louis, will each receive a professional photo shoot and star in a peta2 advertisement.